January 2015 Winemaker Report
The winter months are generally a slower time for us, but this year has been different. In our vineyards we are continuing tremendous efforts to increase vine health and fruit quality. It truly is a year-round operation and our highest priority. Every day we are doing something in our Ranch to make our vineyards some of the most pristine and well tended, at a world-class level. This includes many things such as choosing the correct cover crop to keep weeds down and implementing cutting-edge pruning techniques.
Often I am asked, “How long do you use your barrels?” The short answer is we follow a strict five-year barrel plan and are ever aware of each of our 3,000 barrels' status and situation. We track them using a sophisticated barcode system that helps monitor exactly what wine is in them, for how long, and when it is time for the barrel to “reinvent itself” as a chair or table.
Every year around this time, Moises and I begin the task of blending. There are days that we taste 40-60 different wines, selecting the best of the best for each individual wine we make. Hey, someone has to do it, right?! Our approach is simple, but thoughtful. Throughout the course of a specific wine lot’s aging, we taste it a minimum of 50 times so we know exactly what each can bring to the table when blended, most years we have at least 60 different lots in the cellar. We conceptualize our cellar as a spice rack…there are endless options. This makes it easy sometimes, and other times you have to walk away and try again tomorrow. There’s never a dull moment.
Needless to say, we love it, and are again very excited to share our newest vintages with you as they release throughout the year.